When Karyn Shonk makes pieces for her handcrafted jewelry business, KShonk Designs, she draws inspiration from family heirlooms, such as her grandmother's watch and the first ring that her father gave her mother during their courtship.
"I like making pieces that are so special to people that they want to hand them down for loved ones to appreciate," says the Richmond-based designer.
Shonk makes nature-inspired earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings and hair accessories in a Victorian-era style. Originally, she saved money by recycling jewelry purchased from thrift stores, but now she uses everything from sterling silver and 14-karat gold to found items such as old skeleton keys and antique watch faces, employing oxidization to give pieces an antiqued look. She's especially fond of cool blue-green hues and working with semiprecious stones such as chalcedony and garnet.
After serving in the Air Force and working as a flight attendant for TWA and Northwest Airlines, Shonk went full-time last year with her business under the slogan, "Creating tomorrow's heirlooms today."
"If I create something that is truly unique, then people are going to treasure it no matter what," she says.
Shonk's jewelry, which ranges in price from $5 to $240, is sold through stores in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., and it can be found locally at Quirk Gallery, Strawberry Fields Flowers & Gifts, and Very Richmond. The collection is also available online at kshonkdesigns17.com.
For more information, contact Shonk at 539-1153 or firstname.lastname@example.org.